Award-winning author Mary Helen Stefaniak visits campus to read, discuss novel

Author Mary Helen Stefaniak will read from and talk about her Anisfield-Wolf-award-winning novel, The Cailiffs of Baghdad, Georgia, when she comes to campus Feb. 1. The discussion will be held at 6 p.m. in the Wolstein Research Building Auditorium.

Stefaniak will alternate readings from the novel with stories of the surprising research that led her to “discover” a real-life ancestor for her novel’s fictional hero in the person of Bilali Mahomet, a literate African Muslim enslaved first in the Bahamas and then on Sapelo Island, Georgia. Bilali Mahomet was famous in his lifetime for his intelligence, his Muslim faith, and his abilities as plantation overseer and leader of men.

The event is free and open to the public. Registration is recommended; visit